January 11, 2017

New House Bill Would Make Protecting Public Health and Safety Impossible

Statement from Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (January 11, 2017)—Today, the U.S. House votes on H.R. 5, the so-called “Regulatory Accountability Act.” This bill would effectively end the enforcement of science-based policies that protect Americans’ health and safety and the environment, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

 

Below is a statement by Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

 

“It’s remarkable that Congress would rush through, only a week into their new session and with minimal time for debate, a bill that so profoundly re-shapes our ability to use science to benefit the public. This isn’t what Americans voted for. Laws like the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, which have widespread public support, would become nearly impossible to implement if H.R. 5 becomes law.

“In this bill, Congress crammed together a half-dozen ill-advised proposals, any one of which would interfere with vital science-based policies. Taken together, they should be called the ‘Regulatory Impossibility Act.’ This bill would introduce more than 70 new procedural requirements and offers even more opportunities for political interference in science. It would require agencies to ignore science and implement policies based only on what is least costly to industry, not on what benefits the public. If this bill became law, it would seriously endanger Americans, especially low-income communities and communities of color who face the greatest health threats from pollution.

“This bill doesn’t improve our regulatory system—it removes accountability from polluters. It’s bad policy, rushed through in an irresponsible and undemocratic manner. Members of Congress should remember who they’re supposed to represent, and vote no on this bill.”